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After one’s own heart

Anatomy. a hollow, pumplike organ of blood circulation, composed mainly of rhythmically contractile smooth muscle, located in the chest between the lungs and slightly to the left and consisting of four chambers: a right atrium that receives blood returning from the body via the superior and inferior vena cavae, a right ventricle that pumps the blood through the pulmonary artery to the lungs for oxygenation, a left atrium that receives the oxygenated blood via the pulmonary veins and passes it through the mitral valve, and a left ventricle that pumps the oxygenated blood, via the aorta, throughout the body.

the homologous structure in other vertebrates, consisting of four chambers in mammals and birds and three chambers in reptiles and amphibians.
the analogous contractile structure in invertebrate animals, as the tubular heart of the spider and earthworm.

the center of the total personality, especially with reference to intuition, feeling, or emotion:
In your heart you know I’m an honest man.
the center of emotion, especially as contrasted to the head as the center of the intellect:
His head told him not to fall in love, but his heart had the final say.
capacity for sympathy; feeling; affection:
His heart moved him to help the needy.
spirit, courage, or enthusiasm:
His heart sank when he walked into the room and saw their gloomy faces.
the innermost or central part of anything:
Notre Dame stands in the very heart of Paris.
the vital or essential part; core:
the heart of the matter.
the breast or bosom:
to clasp a person to one’s heart.
a person (used especially in expressions of praise or affection):
dear heart.
a conventional shape with rounded sides meeting in a point at the bottom and curving inward to a cusp at the top.
a red figure or pip of this shape on a playing card.
a card of the suit bearing such figures.

(used with a singular or plural verb) the suit so marked:
Hearts is trump. Hearts are trump.
(used with a singular verb) a game in which the players try to avoid taking tricks containing this suit.

Botany. the core of a tree; the solid central part without sap or albumen.
good condition for production, growth, etc., as of land or crops.
Also called core. Ropemaking. a strand running through the center of a rope, the other strands being laid around it.

to fix in the heart.
to encourage.

Informal. to like or enjoy very much; love:
I heart Chicago.
after one’s own heart, in keeping with one’s taste or preference:
There’s a man after my own heart!
at heart, in reality; fundamentally; basically:
At heart she is a romantic.
break someone’s heart, to cause someone great disappointment or sorrow, as to disappoint in love:
The news that their son had been arrested broke their hearts.
by heart, by memory; word-for-word:
They knew the song by heart.
cross one’s heart, to maintain the truth of one’s statement; affirm one’s integrity:
That’s exactly what they told me, I cross my heart!
do someone’s heart good, to give happiness or pleasure to; delight:
It does my heart good to see you again.
eat one’s heart out, to have sorrow or longing dominate one’s emotions; grieve inconsolably:
The children are eating their hearts out over their lost dog.
from the bottom of one’s heart, with complete sincerity.
Also, from one’s heart, from the heart.
have a heart, to be compassionate or merciful:
Please have a heart and give her another chance.
have at heart, to have as an object, aim, or desire:
to have another’s best interests at heart.
have one’s heart in one’s mouth, to be very anxious or fearful:
He wanted to do the courageous thing, but his heart was in his mouth.
have one’s heart in the right place, to be fundamentally kind, generous, or well-intentioned:
The old gentleman may have a stern manner, but his heart is in the right place.
heart and soul, enthusiastically; fervently; completely:
They entered heart and soul into the spirit of the holiday.
in one’s heart of hearts, in one’s private thoughts or feelings; deep within one:
He knew, in his heart of hearts, that the news would be bad.
lose one’s heart to, to fall in love with:
He lost his heart to the prima ballerina.
near one’s heart, of great interest or concern to one:
It is a cause that is very near his heart.
Also, close to one’s heart.
not have the heart, to lack the necessary courage or callousness to do something:
No one had the heart to tell him he was through as an actor.
set one’s heart against, to be unalterably opposed to:
She had set her heart against selling the statue.
Also, have one’s heart set against.
set one’s heart at rest, to dismiss one’s anxieties:
She couldn’t set her heart at rest until she knew he had returned safely.
set one’s heart on, to wish for intensely; determine on:
She has set her heart on going to Europe after graduation.
Also, have one’s heart set on.
take heart, to regain one’s courage; become heartened:
Her son’s death was a great blow, but she eventually took heart, convinced that God had willed it.
take / lay to heart,

to think seriously about; concern oneself with:
He took to heart his father’s advice.
to be deeply affected by; grieve over:
She was prone to take criticism too much to heart.

to one’s heart’s content, until one is satisfied; as much or as long as one wishes:
The children played in the snow to their heart’s content.
wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve,

to make one’s intimate feelings or personal affairs known to all:
She was not the kind who would wear her heart on her sleeve.
to be liable to fall in love; fall in love easily:
How lovely to be young and wear our hearts on our sleeves!

with all one’s heart,

with earnestness or zeal.
with willingness; cordially:
She welcomed the visitors with all her heart.

the hollow muscular organ in vertebrates whose contractions propel the blood through the circulatory system. In mammals it consists of a right and left atrium and a right and left ventricle related adjective cardiac
the corresponding organ or part in invertebrates
this organ considered as the seat of life and emotions, esp love
emotional mood or disposition: a happy heart, a change of heart
tenderness or pity: you have no heart
courage or spirit; bravery
the inmost or most central part of a thing: the heart of the city
the most important or vital part: the heart of the matter
(of vegetables such as cabbage) the inner compact part
the core of a tree
the part nearest the heart of a person; breast: she held him to her heart
a dearly loved person: usually used as a term of address: dearest heart
a conventionalized representation of the heart, having two rounded lobes at the top meeting in a point at the bottom

a red heart-shaped symbol on a playing card
a card with one or more of these symbols or (when pl.) the suit of cards so marked

a fertile condition in land, conducive to vigorous growth in crops or herbage (esp in the phrase in good heart)
after one’s own heart, appealing to one’s own disposition, taste, or tendencies
at heart, in reality or fundamentally
break one’s heart, break someone’s heart, to grieve or cause to grieve very deeply, esp through love
by heart, by committing to memory
cross my heart!, cross my heart and hope to die!, I promise!
eat one’s heart out, to brood or pine with grief or longing
from one’s heart, from the bottom of one’s heart, very sincerely or deeply
have a heart!, be kind or merciful
(usually used with a negative) have one’s heart in it, to have enthusiasm for something
have one’s heart in one’s boots, to be depressed or down-hearted
have one’s heart in one’s mouth, have one’s heart in one’s throat, to be full of apprehension, excitement, or fear
have one’s heart in the right place

to be kind, thoughtful, or generous
to mean well

(usually used with a negative) have the heart, to have the necessary will, callousness, etc (to do something): I didn’t have the heart to tell him
heart and soul, absolutely; completely
heart of hearts, the depths of one’s conscience or emotions
heart of oak, a brave person
in one’s heart, secretly; fundamentally
lose heart, to become despondent or disillusioned (over something)
lose one’s heart to, to fall in love with
near to one’s heart, close to one’s heart, cherished or important
set one’s heart on, to have as one’s ambition to obtain; covet
take heart, to become encouraged
take to heart, to take seriously or be upset about
to one’s heart’s content, as much as one wishes
wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve, to show one’s feelings openly
with all one’s heart, with one’s whole heart, very willingly
(intransitive) (of vegetables) to form a heart
an archaic word for hearten

Old English heorte “heart; breast, soul, spirit, will, desire; courage; mind, intellect,” from Proto-Germanic *khertan- (cf. Old Saxon herta, Old Frisian herte, Old Norse hjarta, Dutch hart, Old High German herza, German Herz, Gothic hairto), from PIE *kerd- “heart” (cf. Greek kardia, Latin cor, Old Irish cride, Welsh craidd, Hittite kir, Lithuanian širdis, Russian serdce “heart,” Breton kreiz “middle,” Old Church Slavonic sreda “middle”).

Spelling with -ea- is c.1500, reflecting what then was a long vowel, and remained when pronunciation shifted. Most of the figurative senses were present in Old English, including “intellect, memory,” now only in by heart. Heart attack attested from 1875; heart disease is from 1864. The card game hearts is so called from 1886.

heart (härt)

The chambered, muscular organ in vertebrates that pumps blood received from the veins into the arteries, thereby maintaining the flow of blood through the entire circulatory system.

A similarly functioning structure in invertebrates.


The hollow, muscular organ that pumps blood through the body of a vertebrate animal by contracting and relaxing. In humans and other mammals, it has four chambers, consisting of two atria and two ventricles. The right side of the heart collects blood with low oxygen levels from the veins and pumps it to the lungs. The left side receives blood with high oxygen levels from the lungs and pumps it into the aorta, which carries it to the arteries of the body. The heart in other vertebrates functions similarly but often has fewer chambers.

A similar but simpler organ in invertebrate animals.

The hollow muscular organ that is the center of the circulatory system. The heart pumps blood throughout the intricate system of blood vessels in the body.


A tablet of an amphetamine, esp Dexedrine2 (1960s+ Narcotics)

Related Terms

bleeding heart, cross my heart, have a heart, purple heart

According to the Bible, the heart is the centre not only of spiritual activity, but of all the operations of human life. “Heart” and “soul” are often used interchangeably (Deut. 6:5; 26:16; comp. Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30, 33), but this is not generally the case. The heart is the “home of the personal life,” and hence a man is designated, according to his heart, wise (1 Kings 3:12, etc.), pure (Ps. 24:4; Matt. 5:8, etc.), upright and righteous (Gen. 20:5, 6; Ps. 11:2; 78:72), pious and good (Luke 8:15), etc. In these and such passages the word “soul” could not be substituted for “heart.” The heart is also the seat of the conscience (Rom. 2:15). It is naturally wicked (Gen. 8:21), and hence it contaminates the whole life and character (Matt. 12:34; 15:18; comp. Eccl. 8:11; Ps. 73:7). Hence the heart must be changed, regenerated (Ezek. 36:26; 11:19; Ps. 51:10-14), before a man can willingly obey God. The process of salvation begins in the heart by the believing reception of the testimony of God, while the rejection of that testimony hardens the heart (Ps. 95:8; Prov. 28:14; 2 Chr. 36:13). “Hardness of heart evidences itself by light views of sin; partial acknowledgment and confession of it; pride and conceit; ingratitude; unconcern about the word and ordinances of God; inattention to divine providences; stifling convictions of conscience; shunning reproof; presumption, and general ignorance of divine things.”

To one’s own personal liking, as in He’s very patient with the slower pupils; he’s a teacher after my own heart. This idiom appears in the King James Bible of 1611 (I Samuel 13:14). [ Late 1500s ]

heart and soul
heart goes out to, one’s
heart in it, have one’s
heart in one’s mouth, have one’s
heart in the right place, have one’s
heart is set on
heart misses a beat, one’s
heart not in it
heart of gold
heart of stone
heart of the matter
heart on one’s sleeve
heart sinks, one’s
heart stands still
heart to heart

also see:

absence makes the heart grow fonder
after one’s own heart
at heart
break someone’s heart
by heart
change of heart
cold hands, warm heart
cross my heart
cry one’s eyes (heart) out
cut to the quick (heart)
do one (one’s heart) good
eat one’s heart out
find it in one’s heart
from the bottom of one’s heart
get to the heart of
give someone heart failure
half a heart
harden one’s heart
have a heart
have no heart for
heavy heart
in one’s heart of hearts
lose heart
lose one’s heart to
near to one’s heart
not have the heart to
open one’s heart
pour out one’s heart
set one’s heart on
sick at heart
steal someone’s heart
steel one’s heart against
take heart
take to heart
to one’s heart’s content
warm heart
warm the cockles of one’s heart
wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve
with all one’s heart
young at heart


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